Manchester United forced to change style after poor start - Jose Mourinho

Jo Caldwell
September 19, 2018

But the Swiss champions' artificial pitch will take some getting used to, and was the reason why United left Antonio Valencia behind.

And Mourinho opted to use an unexpected example in the form of tennis great Federer when discussing the pitch in his pre-match news conference.

United will begin their Champions League campaign on an artificial surface but Mourinho says that, rather than complain, they need to adapt to the challenge.

Luke Shaw was not in the squad Watford on Saturday after suffering concussion on global duty earlier this month and the full-back may well miss out again in Switzerland, although he has at least travelled.

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He added: "I don't want to use the pitch, especially before the match, as a possible excuse for a not very good performance". Everyone knows its different but I had to say, I said last week in Geneva UEFA meetings we had, what can I say.

"Everybody knows that he has a favourite surface, but he has also to win on the surfaces that he is not in love with, so we have to do it. He has a clinical situation, but apart from that we go with everything we have", Mourinho said.

Having served the first of his three match domestic suspension in the win over Watford on Saturday, Rashford is expected to come back into the United line-up for the Champions League opener.

Mourinho hinted he is set to make changes to his team to face the Swiss champions in a bid to keep players fresh for Premier League duty this weekend.

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Ahead of the European clash, Mourinho has urged his players to follow Roger Federer's example and prove they can win even when they aren't playing on grass.

The 20-year-old's playing time has been subject to scrutiny in recent days and has clearly irked the United boss.

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"So, we have (Romelu) Lukaku, Rashford, (Juan) Mata, Alexis (Sanchez), (Anthony) Martial and they can not play all together. That's a huge advantage for them and a huge disadvantage for the other teams", he said.

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